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Presidential Debate Format Gives Candidates More Time

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Mitt Romney and Barack Obama (Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama (Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

David-Sutta-600x450 David Sutta
David Sutta joined the CBS4 news team in April of 2007. As S...
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Lynn University Presidential Debate

BOCA RATON (CBS4) – When President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney square off Monday night in their third, and final, debate the topic they’ll be addressing is foreign affairs.

This is certainly part of the reason that Lynn University defeated 12 other sites which wanted to host the debate. The campus has students from more than 80 countries.


The format for the presidential debate will be similar to the one used for the vice presidential debate.

The candidates and Bob Schieffer, CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent and moderator of Face the Nation, will all be seated at a desk. Schieffer will run through six topics.

After the question is asked, each candidate will have two minutes to answer. Then there will be about 10 more minutes for discussion on that topic. The candidates are being encouraged to talk to each other, even ask each other questions.

“The format is brand new. We have tried to do what the American public says they want. Which is to take away the minute timing of these debates and actually give extended periods of time for the candidates to discuss the issues. I think that has worked really well,” said Janet Brown, the executive director of the Commission on Debates.

The format thought doesn’t sit well with everyone. Some people find the process a bit awkward, as if the moderator does not have control.

There have also been complaints about getting equal time. Schieffer’s job will be to stimulate discussion, keep it on topic and kill so-called filibusters when the candidates go off topic.

You can watch the debate live on CBS4 and CBSMiami.com beginning at 9 p.m.

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